Saturday, 6 July 2013

GoGoGorillas!

Summer has finally reared its beautiful head, and upon completing my PGCE year, the time has come to make the most of Norwich before I disappear! Although I did have to return to school on Monday and Tuesday of this week, there was no need to prepare for the two days and so last weekend was well spent ‘relaxing’ in the only way I know how... by wandering for miles. A most exciting occurrence in the form of a friend returned from a year abroad in America meant that a very English weekend was in order; so we became tourists in our own county, and in what has been our own city for three and four fond years. 

The summer in Norwich is always full of surprises, and last week the gorillas descended! During one of my teaching practice placements, one of the teachers had been commissioned to paint a gorilla, so I’ve been very excited to see them, and my first weekend off seemed the perfect opportunity! GoGoGorillas! are a collection of sculptures painted by local and regional artists, community groups and schools. Each one is sponsored, and will eventually raise funds in an auction at the end of the event for Break charity and the Born Free Foundation. There are 53 large gorillas, and an additional 66 baby gorillas decorated by local schools across Norfolk; it is currently rather difficult to walk more than a few paces in the city centre without being accosted by one in a shop window, or bumping into one as you turn a corner!

As a self-confessed walkaholic, I didn’t think that 53 gorillas in a day would be too much of a challenge, but it turns out that Norwich isn’t the tiny city I think of it as, and the gorillas are pretty well spaced out! However we did manage a respectful 30ish, and many more babies! At this point I don’t feel that writing about them does them the best justice, so here are a few of my favourites to speak for themselves (absolutely, definitely worth doing the trail if I may say so - I am determined to finish it at the next opportunity)










(Claim to fame gorilla - saw him/her in the progressive stages)



More gorillas this way; possibly the most colourful of my Facebook albums!
Post gorillas there was recovery in the form of summer cocktails at The Assembly House (which I will miss HUGELY), and a very tasty macaroon selection from Macarons & More (which I can’t believe I’ve only just discovered)!

The next day we bounded off to the Sainsbury Centre and prompted by a staggering collection of artefacts from around the world, created a bucket list of countries to visit, before paying a visit nearer to home to the ponies and donkeys at the sanctuary behind the lake. A picnic on a jetty, and a good old fish and chip lunch the day before; I do believe I’m quite good at being typically English (particularly good at being stubborn in my determination to walk everywhere; our feet HURT by the end of the weekend - so much for 'relaxing').